How To Use Household Items As Exercise Equipment.

June 26, 2020
A woman is holding household items and wearing a towel on her neck to workout.

Trying to add more intensity to your home workouts, but don’t want to spend hundreds on equipment? Well, what if I told you that while everyone is stocking up on equipment to create the perfect “home gym”, you can create your own exercise equipment, too? And no, I’m not talking about spending a dime or using your babies or pets as weights. I’m talking about getting creative with what you already have at home. Without even knowing it, you already own a good amount of household items that can be used as exercise equipment. So, to get your creative juices flowing and your body sweating without any gym equipment, I have compiled a fun list of household items that you can start using as exercise equipment, effective immediately! (:

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BENEFITS OF USING EXERCISE EQUIPMENT

While I believe that bodyweight exercises (here are 100 effective bodyweight exercises to do at home) are good enough to get your body sweating, muscles working, and your heart rate up, it never hurts to add more weight. As we all know it, adding more weight and more resistance to an exercise, helps make the exercise much harder and more effective. The harder the exercise, the more your muscles have to work. Which is why, using equipment while working out is always helpful. So, after an in-depth brainstorm session and a little inventory of the household items I have at home, I have come up with a list of household items that can be used as equipment.

SAVE FOR LATER

How To Use Household Items As Exercise Equipment PIN

THE ULTIMATE LIST OF HOUSEHOLD ITEMS YOU CAN USE AS EXERCISE EQUIPMENT:

WEIGHTS

First up on the list, weights. From kettlebells, to dumbbells, to barbells, weights are probably the most popular and important exercise equipment to have in a “home gym”. Well, luckily enough, there are so many household items you can replace weights with. So, if you don’t have any weights at home, here are some household items that you can use as different types of weights!

There are two black weights on a yoga mat

KETTLEBELLS

The first three household items listed below resemble kettlebells the most since they provide a handle to hold on. So, they are the best items to use as kettlebells. You can modify the intensity level of each item by removing weight or adding more weight.

KETTLEBELL SUBSTITUTES: 

  • Pot– Go to your kitchen and look for the heaviest pot you can find. You can either use an empty pot or you can fill your pot up (with anything that won’t spill) and use your pot to lift. Tip: choose a pot with a handle on each side so that you can lift it by it’s handles.
  • Bucket– Look for a bucket around your house. Again, you can fill it up with clothes, small bags of rice or beans, or you can simply use an empty bucket to lift.
  • Purse – We all know that our purses weigh about 100 pounds. So, look for a big purse in your house, fill it up with more things (if you can) and lift away!

The next household items on this list don’t have handles, so you’ll have to carefully hold them when lifting and using them as kettlebells.

  • Laundry Detergent – Grab the heaviest laundry detergent you can find. And, if you only have an empty detergent bottle, it’s okay! You can fill it up with water.
  • Sack of Flour– Look for a sack of flour. If you don’t have flour at home, you can use a sack of sugar, sack of salt, a bag of pancake mix or a bag of rice!
  • Gallon – Open up the fridge and grab a gallon of milk, juice, or water. Make sure the gallon is entirely filled with liquid, if not, fill it up with water.
  • Shampoo Bottle – Take a trip to your bathroom and look for your heaviest bottle of shampoo or conditioner. Again, if it’s empty, fill it up with water.
EXERCISE IDEAS: 
  1. Squats
  2. Squat Hold
  3. Deep Squats
  4. Squat Abductors
  5. Russian Twists
  6. Glute Bridges
  7. Kettlebell Swing

If you need more ideas, here are 22 exercises you can do using kettlebells! 

DUMBBELLS

I don’t know about you, but dumbbells are my favorite kind of weights to use because not only are they fun to use, but they add great resistance to your exercises. Although dumbbells are easier to purchase than other exercise equipment, I have still created a list of household items that can you can easily substitute dumbbells with.

NOTE: Regardless of the household item that you use to substitute dumbbells, make sure that you find two of each item that weighs the same amount. It’s important to balance the weight on both sides of your body. What you do to one side of your body, you have to do to the other.

DUMBBELLS SUBSTITUES:

  • Stainless-Steel Water Bottles – Fill up two water bottles with the same amount of water. If you don’t have a stainless-steel water bottle, go ahead and use any bottle that you have! 
  • Shampoo/ Conditioner Bottles – Look for two shampoos or conditioners that weigh the same to use as dumbbells.
  • Lotion bottles – Go through your vanity and look for lotion bottles, or any skincare/ haircare products that you can use as dumbbells.
  • Jars – Go through your pantry and look for two jars of jelly, almond butter, peanut butter, sauce, or whatever you can find. Hey, even two jars of candy work too!
Workout idea:

10 Minute Toned Arms Workout Using Water Bottles By Pamela RF

EXERCISE IDEAS:
  • Arm Circles
  • Arm Pulses
  • Bicep Curls
  • Glute Bridges
  • Jabs
  • Twisting Punches

If you need more ideas, here are 30 exercises you can do using dumbbells.

BARBELLS

If you really enjoy weightlifting and want to go even further with your exercise equipment, you can create your own barbell.

BARBELL SUBSTITUTE:

  • Broomstick– Find a broom (that you don’t need anymore) remove the broom head, decorate it (if you want) and get creative with it. You can use the broomstick just as it is to do certain exercises or you can add light weight on each end of the broom!

If you want to add more weight, look for a heavier stick in your home.

EXERICSE IDEAS:

RESISTANCE BANDS:

As I mentioned before, bodyweight exercises are great on their own, but adding some resistance to them makes them more effective. Which is why, I personally love using resistance bands. Resistance bands are versatile, easy to use, and great to build muscle. When using resistance bands, every exercise becomes harder and more effective, since your body is moving against resistance. So, if you don’t have any resistance bands at home, don’t worry. Here are some household items you can use as resistance bands.

A woman is squatting using a resistance band

RESISTANCE BANDS SUBSTITUTES:

  • Headbands – Look through your hair accessories, and grab a headband. Make sure the headband that you choose can be wrapped around your thighs and also your calves, so that you can properly use it when doing exercises. 
  • Scarf – Find a scarf that you can tie around your legs to use as a resistance band. Don’t tie it too tightly or too loose, otherwise you won’t be able to move. 
  • Leggings – Look for stretchy leggings (preferably yoga pants) and tie them around your legs to use as a resistance band.
WORKOUT IDEAS:

Are you amazed at how many household items you can use as exercise equipment? Well, the fun is not over yet. Not only can you use household items to replace exercise equipment, but you can also use household items to exercise in, on, and with.


COUCH WORKOUT:

The first household item that you can use to intensify your workouts is…….your couch! Yes, you read that right. The same couch that you use to nap in, watch television and rest in, can be used to give your body a good burn! Hey, you could even workout on your couch while watching Netflix. A win-win, if you ask me. 

A woman is listening to music while stretching on a couch.

There are so many bodyweight exercises that you can do using your couch. 

EXERCISES TO DO ON YOUR COUCH
  • Up Down Plank
  • Elevated Push Ups
  • Tricep Dips
  • Elevated Glute Bridges
  • Leg Raises
COUCH WORKOUT IDEAS:

CHAIR WORKOUT:

If you’re not a fan of exercising on your couch, use a chair. We all have a chair at home, right? So, grab a chair, place it firmly on a flat surface, and exercise! 

Trust me, exercising on a chair is a lot more challenging than what it sounds. Any bodyweight exercise, regardless of how simple it is, becomes more challenging with a chair. If you don’t believe me, grab a chair and try to do up-down planks for 30 seconds. Exercising on a chair will make you feel like you are at the gym using actual exercise equipment. That’s how I feel whenever I workout with a chair! (:

A woman is exercising using a chair.
CHAIR EXERCISE IDEAS:
  • Up-Down Plank
  • Push-Ups
  • Plank
  • Triceps Dips
  • Crunches
  • Glute Bridges

If you need more ideas, here are 8 exercises you can do using a chair!

CHAIR WORKOUT IDEAS:

WALL WORKOUT:

Last but not least, the most unique exercise equipment on this list, your wall. If there is something on this list that absolutely every person reading has, it’s a wall. YAAY. It’s time to put our walls to use with a good wall workout. 

So, find a wall in your house that you don’t mind messing up a bit (I mean, just in case), take your socks off (or don’t, your house, your rules) and exercise!

Woman exercising on a wall
WALL EXERCISE IDEAS:
  • Wall Sit
  • Inclined Push Ups
  • Wall Dips
  • Elevated Glute Bridges
  • Squat Hold
  • Crunches
  • Wall Plank
  • Mountain Climbers

Did you find this list helpful? Have you ever used any of the household items listed above to exercise with? Let me know in the comments below some of the creative ways you exercise at home without the use of any actual exercise equipment!

Until next time,

GABBY

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Although GABBYABIGAILL has taken much time, consideration, time and research to ensure the accuracy of the information displayed above, GABBYABIGAILL will not be responsible or liable for any actions taken by your part. You are responsible for completing every exercise in the most safe manner – because no one knows your body better than yourself. Therefore, warm up properly prior to every workout, exercise safely & enjoy your results.

Comments (26)

  • Rhi

    June 26, 2020 at 10:39 am

    These are such creative ideas! Especially leggings as a resistance band – I never would have thought of that.

    1. Gabby Abigail

      June 26, 2020 at 10:52 am

      Thank you! Glad you like them! Working out at home doesn’t have to be a hassle when you can literally use anything as exercise equipment (:

      Gabby

  • Katie (The Twenty Percent)

    June 26, 2020 at 10:42 am

    I’m missing the gym so much so it was great to read all these substitutes! Will be trying some of them out over the weekend 🙂

    1. Gabby Abigail

      June 26, 2020 at 10:52 am

      That was the point of this post – to help you miss the gym a little less, haha! Awesome, let me know how it goes 🙂

      Gabby

  • Abigail

    June 26, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    These are great ideas! I see them also as being useful in a hotel or while traveling (when we can travel again!) and you don’t want to bring gym equipment.

    1. Gabby Abigail

      June 27, 2020 at 3:38 pm

      Ooooh, yes they could totally work for when you’re traveling! Thanks for adding!

      Gabby

  • Anthony

    June 26, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    This is great. Since we’re all largely stuck in our homes to some extent right now, it’s great to start looking at your furniture and things like a plain, old sack of flour as ways to stay in shape and maintain your health. Very useful tips!

    1. Gabby Abigail

      June 27, 2020 at 3:39 pm

      Exactly! Plus, it’s another way to spice up your workouts. I love the idea of transforming random household items into exercise equipment. Thanks for reading!

      Gabby

  • Molly @ Transatlantic Notes

    June 26, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    These substitutions are such a great idea — and I like the variety of things you’ve listed. I think I’d prefer to workout at home now! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Gabby Abigail

      June 27, 2020 at 3:43 pm

      Thank you! I know how hard working out at home has been for some people (lack of equipment, motivation, etc)! So, I’m glad you found these ideas helpful!

      Gabby

  • Cassie

    June 26, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    These are all great suggestions! I have not been great about home workouts. And I have no equipment. I need to get into a routine. These are great ideas! I am always well stocked on flour!

    1. Gabby Abigail

      June 27, 2020 at 3:44 pm

      I can see how the lack of equipment can affect at-home workouts, but honestly we all have so many things around our house that can serve as great exercise equipment substitutions! Thanks for reading, Cassie! x

      Gabby

  • Alexis Farmer

    June 26, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    This is an awesome place to start for people who are trying to get an intro to workout equipment, good read!

    1. Gabby Abigail

      June 27, 2020 at 3:44 pm

      Yep, thank you!

      Gabby

  • Michelle

    June 27, 2020 at 7:44 am

    Super creative ideas. When I started working out at home years ago, I used soup cans as hand weights. My husband felt bad for me and bought me some weights for my birthday one year.

    1. Gabby Abigail

      June 27, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      Haha, well there you go! We have to work with what we have, right? 😉 Thanks for reading, Michelle!

      Gabby

  • Amber

    June 27, 2020 at 10:27 am

    I love this post, it is super helpful! I used to use cans of beans for my weights when I was younger!

    Amber – The Unpredicted Page

    1. Gabby Abigail

      June 27, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      Love it! Thank you for reading, Amber!

      Gabby

  • mia

    June 28, 2020 at 2:15 am

    UGH I needed this post so badly! I’ve been really slacking in the exercise department recently and this inspired me to get back into it – who needs the gym? xx

    mia // https://beautiful-inspiring-creative-life.com

  • Gabrielle Lakusta

    June 29, 2020 at 4:01 am

    This is super helpful! I’m always trying to figure out what I can hold while exercising at home as a weight.

  • Gabrielle Lakusta

    June 29, 2020 at 4:08 am

    Love this idea! I’m always trying to figure out what’s heaving enough to lift up but not awkward that I’ll drop it while exercising at home.

    1. Gabby Abigail

      July 4, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      I know what you mean! Glad you found this list helpful, Gabrielle.

      Gabby

  • Marie

    July 3, 2020 at 2:23 am

    What great ideas for exercise equipment substitutes, also love the workout on the couch 🙂

    1. Gabby Abigail

      July 4, 2020 at 2:29 pm

      Thank you! Yes, me too (:

      Gabby

  • The Newbury Girl

    July 8, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    First, I laughed when you brought up purses LOL – so true! Second, so many incredible substitutes that don’t cost a thing!! I really want to try wall workouts since I enjoy wall stretches!!

    1. Gabby Abigail

      July 10, 2020 at 10:25 am

      Exactly, it’s fairly easy to workout from home with the right substitutes.

      Gabby

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